If you want someone to help you – be prepared yourself!
Just when I think I can no longer be amazed, something happens to amaze me even more! Maybe it is just me; I don’t know. Perhaps I have gotten to the age in life where my expectations of people and the way they operate on a daily basis are unrealistic, but I don’t think so.
The only way I can explain this Tip to you is to give you two recent situations that happened in my life. They will explain my point much better.
Not too long ago our company changed insurance providers. We do this from time to time in order to get the best possible rates. There is a multitude of factors to consider such as premiums, pre-existing conditions and the like. It is not necessarily a fun process, but it has to be done.
Anyway, I got a new health policy and was able to sign an electronic signature online to finalize it. Over the next few weeks, my insurance agent called me several times to tell me that he had requested my health records four times, but that they would not be released from my physician’s office. He made it a point to tell me that he had tried four different times and he was just not able to get my records. He asked if I would call and request that the records be sent to the insurance company myself.
I thought it rather odd that he had tried so many times and could not get the records sent. When I asked him why they would not release them, he said he had no idea! So, I stopped what I was doing and called my physician’s office to find out what was going on. The girl who answered the phone was very helpful. I was told that medical records could not be released on electronic signatures; a hard copy with my signature was required. So, she faxed me a copy of what I needed to sign. I then signed it, faxed it back, and my records were on the way to my insurance agent that same day!
Now, that may seem like a very simple thing to you, and you may wonder at my point. My point is this: I was able to find out the reason the information was not being released and sent to my agent in a matter of a couple of minutes and he was not able to do it in four phone calls! He was supposed to be helping me and I was the one helping him. And, here is the crazy part – I was paying him! I was paying for the insurance policy, yet I had to stop what I was doing in order to move the process along.
I think it goes to the fact that I am a problem-solver, not a problem creator. I am always looking for solutions and ways to make things work better. I was not trying to compound the problem, I was trying to eliminate it.
Let me give you another example.
We also changed our telephone providers recently and I had to have an on-sight visit with someone from the phone company in order to go over a few issues. The representative called me and made an appointment. We were all set to meet one afternoon at 2 o’clock. At about five minutes till 2:00 on the day of the appointment, I received a phone call from the company representative who asked, “How do I get to your office?” I thought to myself, “I am trying to do business with him and give him money to use his company’s phone service and he does not have directions to my office!” Rather than saying what I was thinking, I politely asked if he had something on which to write down directions. I was asked to, “Hold on, please,” while he pulled his car to the side of the road in order to write them down. Again, I thought to myself, “Wow! This is really amazing. I keep trying to give my money to companies in order to help them succeed and they deal with me on a level that does not seem to be helpful at all. As a matter of fact, I have to keep doing their work for them – as well as pay them!”
I did not lose my peace or tranquility in either instance, but in neither case should it have been my responsibility to do their job. Yet, they seemed unable to do so without my help, even though I was paying for their services.
I have come to believe that these scenarios are not unusual. They have become increasingly more the norm than the exception. We have a saying around our office that goes like this: “You have to do your job and everyone else’s, too!”
Please understand – I am not sharing this Tip with you because I am angry, frustrated, or disappointed. I share these examples to help you see that if you want someone to help you, you should be prepared to do your part first – especially if it is your responsibility in the first place! Very, very few people get this concept.
Lest you think I am getting old, bitter and cranky, please understand that my happiness and joy is not dependant upon what someone else does or does not do. However, I know that I want to do all I can to help make things easier on people who are trying to help me. I find that it produces more business and better relationships. And, I promise you that you will find those same results if you practice the truth found in this Tip.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Robert A. Rohm Ph.D.
Personality Insights, Inc.
Reprinted with permission from the “Tip of the Week”. To subscribe for the free “Tip of the Week” please go to http://www.personalityinsights.com and receive Dr. Rohm’s weekly Tip every Monday morning.